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Right as Rain: A Novel

Pelecanos, George P.

4,454 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0316695262 / ISBN 13: 9780316695268
Published by Little, Brown and Company, Boston, MA, 2001
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

332 pages. "Autographed" sticker on front DJ. Signed by the author. Bookseller Inventory # 51039

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Right as Rain: A Novel

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, Boston, MA

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: very good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition. First Printing.

About this title

Synopsis:

Ex-cop Derek Strange is hired by the mother of a slain police officer to investigate the killing and quickly stumbles across the guilty feelings of another cop involved in the incident. 25,000 first printing.

Review:

George Pelecanos's Washington, D.C., is a far cry from the upwardly mobile, tourist-attraction-speckled enclave of Margaret Truman (Murder at the National Cathedral, Murder in Georgetown). Pelecanos's capital is a haunting terrain of drugs and death, a no man's land of posturing dealers and skeletal warehouses that shelter their buyers:

A rat scurried into a dim side room, and a withered black face receded into the darkness. The face belonged to a junkie named Tonio Morris. He was one of the many bottom-of-the-food-chain junkies, near death and too weak to cut out a space of their own on the second floor; later, when the packets were delivered to those with cash, they'd trade anything they had, anything they'd stolen that day, or any orifice on their bodies for some rock or powder.
When PI Derek Strange is hired by Chris Wilson's mother to find out why her son, a black cop, was killed by a white cop, Terry Quinn, on a dark night in that no man's land, Strange figures that the answer is painfully clear: a typical case of mistaken identity, fueled by the assumptions and preconceptions of Quinn's innate racism. But what Strange finds is a tentative kinship with Quinn, who is desperate to proclaim himself "color-blind." Kicked off the force and convinced that there's more to his own story, Quinn asks to join Strange in his investigation. As the two pry into the past, drifting through the neighborhoods both men have known all their lives, they find themselves enmeshed in a tangle of cold-blooded competition and heated personal enmity.

Pelecanos generally has a light touch with the treacherous quagmire of -isms, veering only occasionally into sententious meanderings about the consequences of an economically and racially divided society. His wry humor, particularly in his descriptions of Earl and Ray, the heroin middlemen who bring the concept of white trash to a depressingly low level, leavens the novel's noir bleakness. And Strange himself is a compelling character: a middle-aged black man who has seen more of life's callousness than he cares to admit, and whose jitteriness about personal commitment speaks volumes about his own expectations for happiness. A strong character and a good read--Pelecanos fans can settle in and look forward to Strange's next appearance. --Kelly Flynn

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